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Last Sunday of the month... and that means...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Progress / maintenance pictures. I updated the front page to show the "year" of progress / maintenance, putting up one from the end of last January, and one from this morning. As we get closer and closer to where I reached my final "home range", you'll see less and less difference in actual weight, possibly still see some additional muscle definition.

BUT, one thing I promise I won't show you is the loose skin. Yeah, I have that issue. It's hidden under the clothing. I notice it when I take my waist and hip measurements... my skin is larger than the body underneath it. It's like a sweater that is too big for me. It's getting better as I walk/jog more, but I don't think it will ever go completely away.

I don't think I'll do anything surgically about it. There's a reason for that. You see, it's a reality of what I have done to myself over time (decades) with my obsession with food. It is a part of my history. I know that procedures exist to tighten things up, and every so often when I look at the sags, I ponder whether I would. Each time I have, I end up concluding that I need to wait until I've kept the weight off for five years, and seen how much an active lifestyle maintained helps the skin "do its own thing" as much as it can.

Even then, I suspect the only way I would undergo surgery is if a doctor told me it was medically advisable for some other reason. At the same time, I started coloring my hair again, after not doing so for about ten years. Who knows what the future holds?

What about the rest of my Spark friends? Are there reasons you might consider having excess skin removed? Does your age have anything to do with your opinion? Does your spouse - significant other - single status affect your thoughts?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 1/30/2011 9:13PM

    I've considered treating myself to a 'butt' lift for my 60th birthday (this December - 2 years) - KIDDING....

My mom had a facelift @ 50 (I thought she was gorgeous without it) as a reaction to my dad fooling around with a woman my age, so surgery is not high on my agenda.

I was fortunate to lose my 35 pounds very slowly, so other than having to wear long shorts (skin gathers above the knees both fore and aft) and having alligator skin (where did this come from?), I'm content.

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ANDI571 1/30/2011 7:34PM

    It's funny you blogged about this. I have been noticing how saggy my inner thighs are. I just hate it. That's the reason I bought a new swimsuit today. I bought the bottoms that look like shorts, so they go down past most of the saggy part. My daughter made the statement she didn't like the shorts, and I told her if I didn't get that type, I doubt that I would even put a swim suit on. The older I am getting the worse it is. And the part of my stomach above my belly button is more pooched than it used to be at this weight, and also saggy. I can see it in the swim suit top. I am hoping that a few more pounds down might help that. I just hung the suit on the door for me to see everyday. Hopefully it will inspire me to lose those last pounds.

I doubt that I would have surgery. I don't like pain, and the chance of complications. It is bad enough when you have to go for unelected surgery. But there again, it would be according to how bad it was, and how bad it was making me feel.

Comment edited on: 1/30/2011 7:35:01 PM

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AEHEGE 1/30/2011 3:02PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! I can understand how you feel about the loose skin. I have this also, but am ten years older than you. At my age, I would not have the surgery. I just wish I had made the decision to stay at goal when I was younger with more elastic skin. (I've yo-yoed most of my adult life). Even at my age, though, the loose skin seems to tighten more as time goes on. I would support anyone who makes the decision to have it surgically removed, but would not opt of this myself. I just have to dress accordingly. The other benefits I have through losing weight are significant in themselves.

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SAMI199 1/30/2011 2:16PM

    I think I will...but there's plenty of time to worry about it.
You look great!


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PENNYAN45 1/30/2011 1:49PM

    I notice my skin started sagging as I lost the weight - particularly on my thighs. I also told myself that if I kept the weight off for a period of time - that I might find out what could be done about it.

Then again I might not.

At my age - I'm not sure it's necessary. I'll wait and see how it all looks when I reach my goal weight - and stay there for a while.

It's encouraging to read some of the comments talking about how the skin improves with time and exercise. We'll see if that happens.

I don't dye my hair, mainly because I like the color that it has become as the white took over the dirty blond. I would dye it if I didn't like how it looked.

What a good idea to take pictures at the end of each month -- so you have a photographic record of your change.

Congratulations on your great success!

And thanks for being such a leader and model for all of us!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 1/30/2011 12:21PM

    I've been at a healthy weight for almost 2 years now and within 10 pounds of where I am now (BMI 20.4) for over a year. I still see my skin tightening up. My batwings look toner. The wrinkle of skin under my belly button is half what it was a year ago. The inner thigh sags a bit, but less. The skin just above my belly button falls into an arrow pointing up! If I tuck skin into a tight bra under each armpit, the arrow disappears. That arrow may be more from pregnancy than from weight loss, I'm not sure. I have not been tempted to have surgery. If I was 25 years old and single I might. At age 61 I wear little that shows the skin. Well, I wear sleeveless shirts - we do live in Florida. I think I look good enough. I don't think my husband has noticed my extra skin, although he did insist I come to his high school reunion, so that was good. I have a bikini in my closet and someday I may actually wear it. We'll see.

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MNTWINSGAL 1/30/2011 10:55AM

    My problem area has always been my lower abdomen, even before I gained weight. I already have quite the "mom apron" and if I get down to goal weight (ahem, I mean WHEN I get down to goal weight) I may have a medical need for a tummy tuck, because I've heard that skin never really goes away with diet and exercise alone and can cause severe skin irritation underneath. Otherwise, no way.

You go girl! You are an inspiration to us all!

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JHADZHIA 1/30/2011 10:02AM

    Well done on your weight loss!! You look fantastic!!
I have loose skin, but I never been too concerned with my appearance as I don't wear make up, wear clothes that are comfortable, not fashionable (baggy sweat pants and T Shirt queen). I won't dye my hair when it goes all white, I will continue to get it cut short to a near brush cut because its easy to look after that way. For me the weight loss was about feeling good and getting fit.. Being single, having no social life and living alone means there is no reason to get artificially enhanced to society's standards..
Good luck with any choice you make. If you think it will make you feel better, than go for it!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/30/2011 9:32AM

    A few years ago I lost 95 pounds. I wanted to take off another 40, and told myself that if I reached that goal and was able to keep it off for two fulll years, I'd check out having my bat wings reduced. I never made that goal and heaven knows I didn't keep the 95 pounds off for two years. But I feel like you do -- it's who I am. I did this to myself and it's a reminder of that.

On another note. I stopped coloring my hair about a year ago. I've got the short cut now -- similar to Jamie Lee Curtis. I like it but . . . . A friend of mine posted a photo on FaceBook of some of us on a weekend getaway a couple years ago. I was thinner than I am now and had my hair colored. I looked so much younger and so much happier. Now I'm thinking about coloring again, though I hate having to go in every 4 weeks for a color. But then again, with the short hair, I go every 4 weeks for a trim, so what's the difference (other than cost)? Hmmm, I must think about this, think.

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DAMOTIVATION 1/30/2011 8:47AM

    Congrats on your look buff! Great job.

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HOT4FITNESS 1/30/2011 8:34AM

    Who knows what the future holds for that loose skin. I think I heard somewhere a half marathon will tighten it right up. LOL!! You've done well, keep up the good work!

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DEBRITA01 1/30/2011 8:12AM

    Your 5-year benchmark seems reasonable...if it still bothers you at that time, go for it. You're beautiful though, whatever skin you're in...

Comment edited on: 1/30/2011 8:15:24 AM

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TCMOSBY 1/30/2011 7:51AM

    Congrats to you beautiful fo having lost so much weight! I am VERY proud of you! I LOVE seeing people happy. =) Yes, I would have any excess skin removed. I am still young, and it may still tighten up in time, but after 4 kids the skin is quite stretched. I gained excessive amounts of weight with each of my pregnancies- 60+ pounds. My last 3 girls were back to back and I didn't have time to lose more than 10 pounds before I got prego I just got bigger and bigger. I figure I have all of these stretch marks (my war from having my babies...who needs the skin too? lol But then again...I should embrace my body. Eh! I am so indecisive! lol Anywho...Have a blessed Sunday and week gorgeous! HUGS!

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DAISY443 1/30/2011 7:42AM

    I've also notice that my skin is too big for me. I think it's gradually improving and, if I stay well hydrated, it is even better! I have learned to (pretty much) live with what I am given!

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The sun is shining...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

it has been warmer all week, and those mounds of snow in the background of my page are slowly melting.

Meanwhile, my trip to the sidelines with whatever bug it was on Thursday was followed by a shaky but improving return to work day on Friday. And today, I'm declaring myself human again, albeit cautiously so. Going to ease back in to working out. Yesterday I took shorter, slower walking breaks. I did some strength training after work, since I did feel up to it. But I didn't press my luck.

This morning I slept in, 'til after 6! I even stayed in bed with my eyes closed and allowed myself to veg for ten minutes before sitting up and climbing out. Then I had a leisurely breakfast before taking the car in to get its oil changed. Later I might go do a grocery run, but other than that, I intend it to be a "putter around the house" day.

One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Spark on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 1/30/2011 4:25AM

    I so hear that, one step at a time, one day at a time. Glad you're feeling better. Snow melting is a harbinger of spring - an 'upper' fer sher!

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TURTLETALK 1/29/2011 10:20PM

    We got to enjoy some sunshine today also. Glad you are better.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/29/2011 7:24PM

    I'm sorry I missed the fact that you weren't feeling well, but am glad that you're starting to feel better again. Just as you say -- take it slow and easy.

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    I'm so glad you're feeling better! It's wonderful it didn't last longer! emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/29/2011 5:37PM

    Here's to a 'puttering' day!

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CHRISTURTLE 1/29/2011 3:40PM

    One step at a time, and easing back into things is definitely the way to go, I've found. Enjoy your weekend of puttering, and hopefully by Monday you will be back to normal again.

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MNTWINSGAL 1/29/2011 3:35PM

    Good idea Barb....don't overdo even if you are feeling better!

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REJ7777 1/29/2011 2:24PM

    Glad you're feeling a bit better. emoticon

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CHRYS13 1/29/2011 1:47PM

    Enjoy your "puttering" day! Glad that you're feeling better!

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DAISY443 1/29/2011 12:44PM

    Hope you get to feeling completely well soon! Hugs!

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If you're too sick to work... are you too sick to Spark?

Friday, January 28, 2011

When I was a kid, my mom had this rule: if you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play. That childhood training kind of lingers even now. It's not entirely true, you know. You can be too ill to be effective at work and still have enough oomph to post something online. But I've also found that when I'm not feeling well, my thoughts don't track well, so I'm not sure I'd trust myself to make sense on line. So, no blog yesterday.

As I generally do when finding myself "not up to snuff", I ran through my check list of "self-inflicted" as a sanity check. This time I found among the suspects:

A night of insomnia earlier in the week (Monday night)
My failed attempt to donate blood on Tuesday (they hooked me up, the blood was flowing too slow, and they had to pull the plug with only about a third of a donation)
A late night phone call that reduced sleep a second night (Tuesday night)
More sodium than normal in the diet on Wednesday... led me to suspect dehydration? I felt really, really thirsty, but I knew I'd had at least 10, maybe 12 cups of water on Wednesday, too.
A co-worker observing that I looked "tired" (I think that was Tuesday, too)
Feeling fatigued and reluctant to even begin my four miles Wednesday evening, but doing it anyway... have I been overtraining?

It is kind of a chicken-egg argument... some of these could also be symptoms of whatever it was, and I could have been "coming down" with it for a few days. I decided the better part of valor would be to stay home and take it easy. So I did.

This morning, better rested, I still have a few of the symptoms, but not enough to keep me home from work.

I only have to get through Friday. Then comes the weekend to recuperate and re-assess. Here's to a better today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 1/30/2011 6:21PM

    Once in a while,a little whining is good for the soul ! Besides a few minutes at the computer isn't quite the same as a day slam on at work-sometimes you just want
to hear someone say,hope you feel better!

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SUNNYWBL 1/30/2011 5:05PM

    My Mom also had an additional rule - If you are too sick to get dressed, stay in bed in your PJs. If you feel good enough to watch TV or come to the dinner table, Get Dressed! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/30/2011 5:07:27 PM

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MSLZZY 1/28/2011 6:58PM

    Sometimes just expressing it makes it better. I hope that was the case. Get better soon! HUGS!

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CHRISTURTLE 1/28/2011 5:17PM

    Maybe by Sparking you will help yourself feel a little brighter, which I am sure will help. That's my justification, and I'm sticking with it, lol.
Hope come Saturday morning you will be feeling much better. Take it easy over the weekend, ok?

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KALIGIRL 1/28/2011 1:14PM

    Hope you feel better soon.

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TURTLETALK 1/28/2011 12:54PM

    I hope you are feeling better for the weekend!

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ANDI571 1/28/2011 10:40AM

    I hope you get to feeling better soon. I have heard sparking is good medicine. emoticon Haven't you heard, take 2 aspirins, and an 30 minutes of sparking will cure what ails you?


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PATRISNA 1/28/2011 9:44AM

I think your Mom's rule was kind of like the military regulation. When we were sick the doctor "Put you on quarters" for a specified time 24 to 48 hours. That meant you went to your quarters either barracks (single) or home (married). You stayed there until the time was up. You best not even think about going out. LOL

I always told my boys if you are too sick to go to school or work you are too sick to go out after work or school hours.

Hope you feel better soon. emoticon

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    I hope you feel better fast, too! When I stay home sick, I usually justify my things like Sparking because I am home, safe from infecting the rest of the workplace with my germs, and they're very happy I'm home sparking instead! emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 1/28/2011 9:40AM

    So sounds like some chicken soup, green tea, and some good ol rest for you. Hope you get to feeling better soon!!

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KASEYCOFF 1/28/2011 9:19AM

    Contributing factors and a group of symptoms, thinks me. But I'm glad you were feeling well enough to post a blog today - just keep putting one foot in front of the other, Barb. The weekend is here! :-D

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BUGGYS 1/28/2011 8:43AM

    It's terrible to be sick and I do hope you're feeling better soon. Today is a new day and it's Friday so that's even better! Weekends are always a time to regroup! Get better!

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DEBRITA01 1/28/2011 8:24AM

    The weekend is almost here...hope you feel better and more like yourself.

p.s. I'd have to be pretty sick to not at least log-in on Spark to see what's happening emoticon

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DAISY443 1/28/2011 8:05AM

    Hope you get back to feeling normal soon! Hugs!

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LEANJEAN6 1/28/2011 8:02AM

    Oh I hope that you have a better day to-day--I think you will!----- ThaT SICKNESS IS GOING AROUND-

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Giving the gadget another chance

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Short background for those who missed earlier blogs: The "gadget" is a BodyMedia GoWear fit armband. I was excited to get it wore it two days, arm broke out. Folks gave me some suggestions, some of which aren't feasible (clear nail polish on the metal would interfere with its function to detect electrical conductivity, etc.). Others suggested I take it back... and I am still considering doing that. But first... I just had to give it a second chance.

After the arm healed, I went back and read directions. Went to a website to read all about other people's experience with the arm breaking out. Got some suggestions of things to try, and being me, have been giving the gadget another try.

Here's the list of "caveats":
1. Make sure your arm is completely dry after your shower before you put the gadget on.
2. As soon as done with a workout that produced moisture (sweat, folks, yeah!)... take it off, clean and dry it! After your shower, again make sure the arm is dry before putting it back on.
3. Every so often, disinfect the gadget with isoprophyl alcohol, just as you would your earrings!
4. Don't wear it all the time. The recommendation says max at 23 hours a day... I'm saying for those of us more sensitive... wear it a good deal less. So if I know I'm going to be inactive (like overnight, if I'm not doing a deliberate "quality of sleep" measurement) or watching TV or Sparking... do I really need to have it on?
5. Some other folks have recommended moving it to different spots on the body, even though that's not what the instruction book says. They had "ok" results in using the other arm, and in some cases, a leg. I haven't tried this yet, but reserve it as an option.

All that said, I'm giving it another shot, and have been wearing it since Saturday again. So, four days, no breaking out... being very, very careful.

Wish me luck... I'll post what it tells me another time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 1/28/2011 9:27AM

    Like anything else, it seems a matter of trial-and-error. I'm hoping you have the problem solved - fingers crossed that you'll be able to keep it. I think you're right about choosing when to wear it and how to get the best use out of it. Just keep experimenting! :-D

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SLENDERELLA61 1/27/2011 6:05PM

    I just looked up your gadget and it looks fascinating. Wish I'd known about it before I bought the heart rate monitor I just purchased. Oh, well. Best wishes. What great info you will get. Be sure to let us all know how it works out for you. -Marsha

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SUNNY1432 1/26/2011 10:24PM

    I hope it can get it to work for your without the break outs:) emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/26/2011 10:09PM

    Good luck - can't wait to learn what it 'tells' you.

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MSLZZY 1/26/2011 3:36PM

    That's the way to do it! HUGS!

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SUNNY332 1/26/2011 2:26PM

    Good for you. Glad you got some good ideas and they seem to be working.


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    So, what does this gadget DO? What does it record? emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 1/26/2011 8:52AM

    Good for you!! I hear that is a great little gadget. Lets hope we wear it well with no breakouts

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RHCOOKSON 1/26/2011 8:24AM

    I'm glad I read your blog. I'm allergic to many metals, and haven't been able to wear watches for years because of it. I'd been interested in this gadget, but it hadn't occurred to me that it would have a metal backing as well.

Do you wear watches? Have you had trouble with them, or other jewelry? It is possible that you may have some metal allergies.

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DAISY443 1/26/2011 8:16AM

    Good luck with that! Try not to sweat when you're doing your cardio-lol!

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REJ7777 1/26/2011 8:11AM

    Hope it solves the problem! emoticon

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Majority Rules Checkin

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I started tracking this "have at least a good day, 6 times a week" goal at the beginning of the year. It kind of started as a measurement of whether how I felt about each individual day contributing to how I felt about the week, the month, etc.

What I found was that the mere action of thinking about and tracking whether the day was "great", "good", "so-so", "bad" or "terrible" has led to an interesting internal phenomenon. Like the "quark theory" in physics, the belief system of the beholder influences the observation!

I've found myself calling almost all my days "good". Even the mega-stressful ones had SOME good element. If I handled the stress without having regrets after, the day was good. Similarly, very few days have risen to "great" in my eyes. Even the ones where I totally ate right and exercised: this is kind of "normal/good".

So... bottom line, not sure how well this is working, as the experiment is influencing the results. But maybe, just maybe, that's a "good" thing?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 1/28/2011 9:29AM

    Yep, I totally agree with that. Attitude, perception, positive thinking - all a matter of choice. We can't always determine what Life throws at us, but we can control how we react to it. IMHO

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KALIGIRL 1/25/2011 10:40PM

    Here's to your positive attitude and good days!

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MOMOF2TONI 1/25/2011 9:19PM


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DEBRITA01 1/25/2011 5:53PM

    I think we can find the good in any day...if we look hard enough. It's all in the mindset and you seem like a positive person. Glad you're having *good* days!

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REJ7777 1/25/2011 4:33PM

    Yes, I think that it's a *good* thing. emoticon

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BUGGYS 1/25/2011 4:11PM

    I think tracking your days is a great thing and keeps you mindful of what you are doing and eating...and if you end up with a great day, a good day, a whatever day, it keeps you in the moment! emoticon

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ANDI571 1/25/2011 10:27AM


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WISEONE68 1/25/2011 10:06AM

    It is hard to measure "good" unless you put some parameters on it...i.e. exercise, eat right, no melt-downs, etc.

However, in the great scheme of things...a day where I wake up, have another opportunity to serve my Lord, and don't hurt or harm anyone else...that is a GOOD day!!!

Blessings and peace as you strive for your Good and Great (remember, the "enemy of great is good"--Jim Collins from his book "Good to Great")

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/25/2011 9:55AM

    I really do believe it's all about our attitude and mindset. Now that you're focussing on that, you're finding it easier to have those good days. Same with me, for the most part, with regards to my "just for today" attitude. With the exception of my "blip" over the weekend, that mindset just sets me up for success. I'm glad you're reaping the rewards of tracking your days! Carry on . . .

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SUNNY332 1/25/2011 9:33AM

    What a great idea. Knowing you are going to "rate the day" helps motive a better day (or expectations). You go, girl.

Hugs, Sunny

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    Hurray! That is an emoticon thing! emoticon

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DAISY443 1/25/2011 8:04AM

    I think the fact that "great" days are few and far between make them all the more special. If "great" was every day, we would have little to strive for! Thanks for another thought provoking blog!

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